The Anonymous Widower

In My Fathers Footsteps

This article on the BBC is entitled Hundreds Gather In Trafalgar Square To Protest Ukraine Invasion.

My father, who was born on the first of January in 1904, described himself as a left-wing Tory.

  • His great-great-grandfather had been a Jewish tailor, who possibly had been born in Konigsberg in East Prussia.
  • In his politically-active years before World War Two, he had been an opponent of both extremes of the political spectrum.
  • He had possibly been involved at the League of Nations in Geneva, which is something I aim to prove or disprove.
  • A couple of times he talked about the horrors of  the famines in Russia in 1931-33, but he never expanded on what he knew.
  • He was mixed up in the stopping of a member of the British Union of Fascists getting elected in the 1935 Norwood By-Election.
  • He was proud to have been at the Battle of Cable Street, when as he said, the whole of the East End, stopped Mosley and his blackshirts from marching through.

I heard him say a couple of times, that Stalin could have been worse than Hitler.

He would have approved that I went to the protest today, where I took these pictures.

It was all peaceful, as no supporters of Vlad the Mad turned up.

March 5, 2022 Posted by | World | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Has London Done Its Best To Organise Friday’s England and Scotland Match?

Scotland are coming to play England on Friday, with the match starting at 20:00.

These are my thoughts.

Travelling To Wembley On The Day

This article on The Times is entitled England v Scotland: Ticketless Fans Urged To Stay Away From Wembley.

These are the first two paragraphs.

Thousands of ticketless Scotland fans are set to descend on London for the England game on Friday amid growing concern about the lack of a Covid-secure fan zone.

Nearly 3,000 Scottish fans have tickets for the clash at Wembley but the Scottish Football Supporters Association expects that twice as many will travel south. Some estimate that the number could be as high as 20,000.

The article also says the following about trains on Friday, that would get you to London in time for the match.

  • Fifteen trains  from Glasgow are full.
  • Most of the seventeen trains from Edinburgh are full.

Using the capacity of the trains, I wouldn’t be surprised to see 20,000 Scottish fans coming by train.

But there are other ways to come.

  • Scotland now has a good rail services to places like Doncaster, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Peterborough and York. All of these places have lots of hotels and a good train service to London.
  • Some will fly.
  • How many will come by coach?
  • Personally, I’ve driven between London and Edinburgh and Glasgow several times and with two nominated drivers, who didn’t drink, it’s an easy drive and can be done in under six hours.
  • London also has a large expatriate Scottish population. How many will go or want to go to the match?
  • Plenty of hotel rooms in London are available for Thursday and Friday night at a reasonable price.

Wembley stadium  is also well-served by public transport and you could park at somewhere like Milton Keynes and get the train to the stadium.

Getting Home

I suspect many will need a hotel room, but it does look that there are plenty available.

Those who’ve driven down, would just pick up their car and drive home through the night.

But will many be intending to sleep rough somewhere?

It’s Been A Long Time!

It’s been a long time since Scotland reached a major finals and it was 1996, when they last played England in the finals of a major tournament.

Surely, this will increase the number of fans, who will turn-up in London without tickets!

Scots Always Travel If They Can!

I am old enough to have watched Celtic with the 1967 European Cup in Lisbon in on a black-and-white television.

They certainly travelled then and amused everybody with their drunken antics after the match.

The last time England played Scotland at Wembley was a friendly in 2013.

This report on the BBC, which is entitled Trafalgar Square Scots Party Leaves 10,000 Beer Cans, describes the antics in Trafalgar Square.

This is a paragraph from the BBC report.

Westminster City Council’s Leith Penny said: “Our crews worked hard round the clock to get London back to normal for our residents and businesses this morning.”

That was mild compared to what a spokesman for Westminster City Council said on the BBC.

I remember he compared the drunken Scots to the well-behaved Dortmund and Bayern Munich fans, who had taken over the square in May. I wrote about that in Trafalgar Square In Yellow.

Everybody is Demob-Happy!

After nearly two years of the pandemic, many are demob-happy and football supporters on both sides will be looking to get to or near the match.

How Many Scots Will Turn Up?

I quoted earlier that 20,000 could turn up!

As my mother would say! “And the rest!”

There Will Be No Fan Zone

This press release from the Mayor of London is entitled EURO 2020 Fan Zone To Host Key Workers For England’s Group Games.

  • All England games, semi-finals and final to be screened
  • Exclusive key worker access for first two, socially-distanced, Fan Zone matches as mark of gratitude from Mayor for their work during pandemic
  • Plan for up to 9,500 fans for Czech Republic group clash if Covid restrictions lifted on June 21
  • Renowned artist JR will transform the city with his epic black and white portraits to celebrate competition.
  • The Fan Zone will operate a zero tolerance, ‘one strike and you’re out’ policy towards racism and other forms of discrimination

I predict there will be tens of thousands of angry Scotsmen.

So What Has Sadiq Khan Got To Say?

The Times has these two paragraphs.

The mayor’s office urged Scottish fans without tickets to stay at home. A spokesman for Khan said: “It is not possible to hold a fan zone for Scottish fans in London due to the Covid restrictions . . . fans should only travel to the capital if they have a ticket or a safe place to watch the match.”

A source close to the mayor added: “We would have liked to put up a zone for Scottish fans and increased capacity at Trafalgar Square but the licence from Westminster [council] required social distancing so we could not do more. Central government would also have needed to make an exemption to allow it to happen but they have not.”

Typically, Khan seems to be blaming everybody except himself.






June 15, 2021 Posted by | Sport | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Getting Ready For The Tour

I took these pictures yesterday in mid-morning, as I walked around Trafalgar Square and Piccadilly.

The crowds were as expected later, but as the pictures show, the streets were surprisingly empty. The BBC is reporting this morning, that traffic was down twenty percent yesterday, so perhaps a lot of people took the day off yesterday, or came in later on public transport.

Speaking to a couple of bus drivers and some Transport for London ambassadors, who were there to answer questions, none said that they’d heard of a bus passenger wanting to use cash. The ambassador told me, that no-one had even raised the subject of cashless buses with her.


July 8, 2014 Posted by | Sport | , , | Leave a comment

How Much Beer Was Drunk In Trafalgar Square Yesterday?

Accordiung to this report on the BBC web site, Westminster’s team of cleaners, picked up about two tonnes of empty beer cans in Trafalgar Square yesterday.

if we assume that a can weighs about 20 grams, that means about 100,000 cans of beer were drunk in the square yesterday. Reportedly 25,000 Scots came down to see the match.

But at least little untoward happened!

The same story was reported in The Scotsman and a reader added this comment.

If we can organize this maybe we can handle being independent. Put a deposit on beer cans and the homeless will benefit.

Although, their estimate of the number of cans was a lot lower.

The Germans who came for the Champion League Final didn’t seem to drink much at all.

August 15, 2013 Posted by | Sport | , , , | Leave a comment

Even Trafalgar Square Isn’t Busy

I took this picture in Trafalgar Square today.

Even Trafalgar Square Isn’t Busy

I would have thought that it would have been busier. It could just be that most of the visitors have money and hanging round Trafalgar Square isn’t part of their itinerary.

August 2, 2012 Posted by | Sport, World | , , | 1 Comment

Wot No Fountains!

It is always reckoned that if you want it to rain on your event, you ask the Queen, as she is renowned for bringing the rain.

But the current drought has even stopped the fountains in Trafalgar Square, as this article in the Telegraph outlines. Here’s two pictures I took today.

The visitors don’t seem too bothered. The Queen’s bad luck doesn’t seem to be having any effect. It will of course bucket down at the Diamond Jubilee and the Olympics

April 11, 2012 Posted by | News, World | , , , , , , | 2 Comments